Boys Town Jerusalem’s teachers have been cited by the Israeli Ministry of Education for their exemplary performance in “promoting educational, ideological and scholastic excellence” among their students. Boys Town ranked in the very highest percentile among the top 207 schools in the nation selected for commendation by the Ministry. In a new program spearheaded by the Ministry of Education and the Israel Teachers Union to reward outstanding high school faculties, Boys Town’s teachers and their fellow winning colleagues will be awarded cash grants for their exceptional achievements.
“This citation was not simply to acknowledge the steady, impressive improvement in our students’ scores on national exams,” Principal Yossi Cohen stressed. “It signifies the broad success of our teachers’ diligent, painstaking efforts on behalf of our students. This award is an unequivocal tribute to our teachers’ unified work to imbue students with the highest ethical values and academic skills.”
With the sweet triumph of the national award, Yossi Cohen was reminded of the Boys Town he met 15 years ago when he joined the faculty. “The challenge was nearly overwhelming. The teachers were frustrated and exhausted by the demands of so many disadvantaged students. At the time, the percentage of our students who passed their bagrut national matriculation exams was extremely low. Yet over time, primarily during the past four years, our teachers have generated a fierce spirit of cooperation to enrich the mind and character of every boy in the school. The Boys Town average for those who passed last year’s bagrut reached 78%‐‐‐and I expect this year’s results to be even higher.”
The Ministry of Education team of judges also attached significance to the students’ integrity, as expressed in their “honesty policy” in national matriculation and achievement exams. “Where integrity is concerned, Boys Town’s students have always been champions,” said Yossi Cohen. “Our Jewish studies curriculum—and the personal examples our teachers set ‐‐ instill the timeless Jewish values that carry over into all aspects of life.”
Cohen pointed out that Ministry of Education officials have repeatedly told him how greatly they admire the achievements of Boys Town students and teachers. “They realize that unlike highly selective schools, our mission is to accept students who have suffered the effects of their difficult backgrounds. We give these boys our utmost to build their confidence, knowledge and moral fiber. When they excel, we are inspired to work all the harder.”
In their citation to Boys Town Jerusalem’s award‐winning teachers, the Ministry of Education noted, “We place great importance upon the recognition and appreciation of educators, in the firm belief that a good teacher can enact changes and influence and contribute to the formation of the future generation.”